FIFA Ballon d’Or Contenders

FIFA has released the list of the top 23 players of the world. A combination of the FIFA Player of the Year and France’s Ballon d’Or, the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or will honor one man for his inspirational contribution to soccer.

With the World Cup this past summer, many believe that those who shone on the field will receive the spotlight. This might just be the case. With seven men from the World Cup champions team, it seems that their domination on the field might help one of the Spaniards reign as Player of the Year.  The World Cup’s team also has a strong chance at the running with Klose, Lahm, Muller, Ozil and Schweinsteiger nominated. Argentinian star and ’09 winner, Lionel Messi is in the running again as well as 08′s winner, Portuguese heartthrob Cristiano Ronaldo. Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, winner of the World Cup’s Golden Ball also seems like a strong runner. Even Ghana is well represented with Asamoah Gyan nominated.

But it seems that English players paid the price as they were completely overlooked following their disappointing World Cup campaign. Last year, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry all made the shortlist, plus Welshman Ryan Giggs.  France and Italy suffered a similar fate as some of their national favorites missed out on the list following their disastrous World Cup.

Fair or not, the list appears to be a list of the usual suspects. The three finalists will be announced on December 10, 2010 and the winner announced on January 10, 2010.

Messi. Ronaldo. Iniesta. Sneijder. Eto’o. Who’s your pick?

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Shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010:

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

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